Friday, August 4, 2017

Adoption: It's Complicated

When we first became foster parents, I didn't realize how complicated everything would become after adoption. Foster care was crazy enough, with all the oversight, appointments, and people in our lives. I thought once we got all the extras out of our life, then things would get simpler. Not having three or four appointments a week helped, but adoption is still quite complicated.

Constantly Second Guessing

Every single incident, behavior, and word out of their mouths is analyzed according to these questions:

Is it trauma related?
Is this an attachment issue?
Is it sensory?
Is it behavioral?
Is it autism?
Is it developmental?
Is it a mental heath issue?
Is it physical?
Is it evidence of a delay?

Does it need discipline? A specialist? Medication? Therapy?

It's possible that I have a problem with labeling (wink).  But, seriously, it's complicated.

Birth Parent Relationships

When we were foster parents, the State told us what our relationship to the birth parents was supposed to be. Basically, we were friendly, but not familiar, we stayed out of the way as much as possible, and we supported the parents reuniting with their child.

We live in a closed adoption state, which basically means that here is no one (or contract) telling you how to relate to each other. I'm not saying that it would be easier if we were obligated to spend time together, but without any rules, I find it hard to know where to draw the lines. Every family must decide for themselves and their kids what amount of contact is safe.

At present, we have very little contact with the birth parents, which presents it's own set of issues.  The kids often talk about their birth families and ask questions about how they're doing, but I have few answers because of our lack of contact.  On the other side, if they had lots of contact with their birth families, and we were constantly exposed to all the drama, I think that would be hard to deal with as well.  Like I said, it's complicated.

My Own Insecurities

I haven't talked about it on the blog, but we're infertile.  You know those stories that people always tell about how "so-and-so" adopted, and then "Oops!  They got pregnant!"  Yeah, that didn't happen for us.  So, here we are- adoptive parents and still quite infertile.

I feel like it's very important for people, especially women, to understand that the feelings you have about infertility do not go away when you adopt.  It's not that you don't think of your adopted kids as your own or that you don't love them like your own; it's that the part of you that has always wanted a biological child will still probably want a biological child.  Mother's Day will probably be tough.  Father's Day will also be tough.  Your wedding anniversary might be tough.  Your children's birthdays will be complicated.  Baby showers might still be painful.  Anytime someone wants to talk pregnancy or birth, you might feel sad about what you missed.  Whenever someone pushes breastfeeding, you might feel defensive (and sad) as you defend the bottle.  It's all just so complicated.

This blog post was very difficult for me to write.  I'm so glad the ladies at The Adoption Talk Link Up challenged me to write it.  My goal for the upcoming school year is to follow their prompts every month and write more about adoption.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. Often we think some situation will fix everything else in our lives and it is just not true. Adoption is wonderful but it does not fix the pain of miscarry, infertility or feeling somehow less of a women for not giving birth. There are always those who will tell you if you took drugs or had a C-section, you didn't experience birth. Or if you bottle fed over breast feeling you didn't bond with your child. Lies! Don't buy into any of them. Your life experiences are your own and we all have doubts AND shortcomings. God bless the adoptive parents.